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Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

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Also Known As: Kevin Spacey Fowler Died:
Born: July 26, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: South Orange, New Jersey, USA Profession: Cast ... actor producer director apartment superintendent shoe salesman
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BIOGRAPHY

an of Steel's brilliant nemesis Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns" (2006). With a shaven head and flashy suits, Spacey exuded a much more subdued evil than did predecessor Gene Hackman's campy take in the 1978 version. Nonetheless, Luthor's plot this time around was no less dastardly ¿ he plans to use Superman's own technology from Krypton to create a new land mass in the Atlantic Ocean so he can destroy the United States, sending Superman (Brandon Routh) on an epic journey through the depths of the ocean and into the reaches of outer space. After playing an efficiency expert hell-bent on ridding the world of Christmas in the terribly unfunny "Fred Claus" (2007), Spacey was an unorthodox math professor and genius statistician who leads a group of likewise brilliant MIT students to Las Vegas to crack the gambling code in "21" (2008), a slick and sexy thriller based on the best seller, Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.

Before he was inked to revive Lex Luthor for Bryan Singer's second go-round with "Superman: Man of Steel" (2011), Spacey generated considerable critical acclaim playing Democratic insider Ron Klain in the made-for-television movie, "Recount" (HBO, 2008), a behind the scenes look at the voting scandal that erupted in Florida in 2000 during the election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. For his work, he was nominated in late 2008 for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. After voicing the robot Gerty in the acclaimed "Moon" (2009), Spacey co-starred opposite George Clooney in the moderately panned military satire, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" (2009). Returning to the political arena, Spacey was the perfect choice to play Jack Abramoff in the satirical comedy "Casino Jack" (2010), which chronicled the rise and fall of Washington¿s most notorious and disgraced lobbyist. Directed by George Hickenlooper, who died just weeks after the release of the film, "Casino Jack" gave Spacey the right platform to once again put his formidable talents on display, resulting in a Golden Globe nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

After playing Jason Bateman¿s manipulative boss in the hit R-rated comedy "Horrible Bosses" (2011), Spacey was a Wall Street executive whose decisions during the first days of the 2008 financial crisis are called into question in the indie financial thriller "Margin Call" (2011). Surrounded by a strong cast that included Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto and Simon Baker, Spacey stood out as a man worn down by the machinations of the cutthroat financial world. In 2011, he returned to the stage to star in a production of "Richard III" directed by Sam Mendes, which premiered at the Old Vic, and later commenced on a worldwide tour that ended in early 2012. From there, Spacey took a rare turn into television with "House of Cards" (Netflix, 2013- ), a remake of a British miniseries of the same name that aired on the BBC in 1990. Set in the world of Washington politics, "House of Cards" starred Spacey as Frank Underwood, the Democratic House Majority Whip who hides behind his genial Southern charm while plotting Machiavellian-like vengeance for being passed over as Defense Secretary. Co-starring Robin Wright as his Lady Macbeth, Kate Mara as an ambitious young reporter and Cory Stoll as a drug-addled congressman under Underwood¿s thumb, "House of Cards" made waves for being streamed exclusively on Netflix, where all 13 episodes were available for viewing at once. Both the series and Spacey¿s performance were widely hailed by critics. Between seasons of the series, Spacey reprised his comic role in "Horrible Bosses 2" (2014).

ter persona, he joined Danny DeVito to star as a smooth-talking salesman in "The Big Kahuna" (2000) ¿ a dazzling performance in an otherwise little-seen film ¿ before starring in "Ordinary Decent Criminal" (2000), a fictionalized biography of Irish master thief Martin Cahill. Playing juicy roles in small films had no effect on Spacey's reputation as being one of the premiere actors working in Hollywood, but the actor seemed to have lost some steam when he starred in the mawkish "Pay It Forward" (2000), playing a scarred schoolteacher who opens himself up to love when his young student (Haley Joel Osment) devises a system of paying good deeds forward to three people. Spacey's affected manner and overdone makeup did little to aid this already over-sentimentalized tale. Spacey received mixed reviews when he teamed with Jeff Bridges in "K-PAX" (2001), playing a man who claims to be an alien from outer space. Later that year, he was cast ¿ and many argued, miscast ¿ as the milquetoast hero of the screen adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning "The Shipping News" (2001), which also suffered from tepid reviews and indifferent audience response. Meanwhile, Spacey made the requisite appearance on "Inside the Actors Studio" (Bravo, 1995- ), where he impressed host James Lipton and the audience with dead-on impressions of Jimmy Stewart, Johnny Carson, Christopher Walken, Marlon Brando and even Katherine Hepburn.

In between projects, Spacey distinguished himself as a champion of his craft, becoming involved with the Screen Actors Guild and launching Triggerstreet.com as a means for aspiring creative people to form an online community. In 2003, he was named artistic director of London's historic Old Vic Theater, a stage where he appeared in his triumphant production of "The Ice Man Cometh." Despite being a celebrity ¿ guaranteeing not giving him the anonymity enjoyed past artistic directors ¿ Spacey's tenure at the Old Vic was a rocky one. He was heavily criticized for not putting on enough classics, though his "Richard II," in which he starred as the immature and detached king, was critically acclaimed. While the press had a field day lambasting his choices, Spacey cited his success in bringing the theater back into public prominence. Several productions ¿ notably "National Anthems" (2005) and "Philadelphia Story" (2005) ¿ filled seats, but reviews were savage. Then Spacey hit a bona fide disaster with Arthur Miller's "Resurrection Blues," which suffered from poor performances and attendance that failed to reach even half-capacity. Spacey remained unapologetic, however, claiming that the press was out to get him because of his celebrity.

The actor was next seen as an academic with strong views on capital punishment who finds himself accused of murder in director Alan Parker's film "The Life of David Gale" (2003). Again slipping into a now-familiar martyr role, Spacey found his performance praised despite the movie's many flaws, which included an overwrought and unconvincing story, and an overindulgent anti-death penalty message. Changing gears, Spacey returned beyond the camera to helm ¿ as well as co-write and star in ¿ "Beyond the Sea" (2004), a pet project about the popular 1950s and 1960s singer Bobby Darin, who the actor had idolized and imitated since he was a child. Ironically, the singer had died an early death and by the time Spacey got the project into production, he was nearly too old to play Darin. Fortunately, a clever script device had Darin looking back at his life and plugging his later-years self into his memories, allowing audiences to easily forget Spacey's age. The actor provided a tour de force performance and provided all of the Darin-like vocals himself. As a director, he excelled at visually interpreting the film's lavish and energetic musical sequences, though some of the performances were a tough sell. Nonetheless, Spacey delivered an engaging film and one of his finest performances.

Spacey made headlines when he agreed to reunite with Bryan Singer for the first time since "The Usual Suspects," starring in the director's controversial revival of the original comic book film franchise, playing the M

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